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ITIS Traffic Information
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jonathanb
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 2:45 pm    Post subject: ITIS Traffic Information Reply with quote

ITIS is the UK market leader in the broadcast of RDS-TMC and is committed to achieving the highest quality for users of its traffic information. We invite members of this forum to ask us questions about the ITIS service and we will do our best to answer as many of them as possible.
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Jonathan Burr
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum, the most often asked question is one of a reliable signal when using RDS-TMC style devices. Whilst I appreciate the problems of reception can be down to a number of variables one major factor is the availability of a signal.
Do you have any plans to extend the transmitter network over and above the current Classic FM frequencies, more stations broadcasting data would improve reception problems adding to the capability of the service, particularly within the UK - Mike
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swing
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess the second most asked question is linked to the general belief that Trafficmaster produce more accurate and more timely traffic information; so what plans do you have to keep your market leading position in terms of the quality of the data you provide?
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smartroad
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with what has been said by the others here, what are the plans to move onto more stations. My local is 2TenFM, and the same parent comany as ClassicFM, yet doesn't transmit the TMC signal.

I relaise that the BBC is all "non-profit" etc etc, but is there any way of getting the signal on say BBC Radio1? It has great coverage no matter where you are, as most BBC radio stations do.
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GPS_fan
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2-Ten FM transmits the TMC for TrafficMaster - a competitor of iTIS

This is more than likely the reason for not getting an iTIS TMC signal from 2-Ten FM (102.9MHz)
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dannyw
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
The most often asked question is one of a reliable signal when using RDS-TMC style devices. Whilst I appreciate the problems of reception can be down to a number of variables one major factor is the availability of a signal.
Do you have any plans to extend the transmitter network over and above the current Classic FM frequencies, more stations broadcasting data would improve reception problems adding to the capability of the service, particularly within the UK - Mike


As you point out in your post there a number of variables that contribute to robust recovery of the RDS signal therefore we would like to clarify some points.

The use of Classic FM underpins our service and has done since ITIS developed and launched the first commercial service in the UK following an EU funded, UK Government supported project. Our license on Classic FM's RDS sub-carrier is licensed to us by Ofcom and is operated by ITIS exclusively. The license is known as the Additional Services Licence, or AS-1. The use of Classic FM's RDS sub-carrier has many advantages. For example the primary tuning function of an RDS TMC receiver uses the Alternate Frequencies (AF's) used and implemented by Classic. This assists the reciever in handing over from one transmitter to another more efficiently.

In addition ITIS already uses broadcasters other than Classic FM for example Real Radio Yorkshire and Real Radio South Wales. Earlier this year we concluded a number of new contracts which will provide us access to further Regional stations across the UK. Details will announced in due course as they come on air.

The main reason for expanding our network is to improve the performance of portable receivers. Since they portable the antennas these systems use are less efficient at recovering signal at lower field strength.

So in summary, yes are rolling out new regional broadcasters. These will have the effect of increasing field strength. However we will continue to strongly recommend using an antenna coupler/splitter to get the best performance from portable devices.
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Danny Woolard
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny, many thanks for the reply. Do you know what frequencies and tranmitters are being used for all iTIS transmissions within the UK, I have all the Classic FM stations listed in the Point of interest (POI) file which is handy when manually tunning a receiver during a long trip - the auto tune dosn't work too well from my experiance, given the frequency and station name and can quickly find the transmitter name and lat/ long for the POI file.
I would also appreciate an update as other stations are switched on over the coming few months, any plans for Century FM on 105.4 in the North West?

I read with interest your comments about using an external aerial, it is a shame this option is often denied to the end user by the equipment supplier - we live in hope that the pending device from TomTom will have such a facility, at least Navman got it right with an external connecton opoint even if it does use a rather exotic connector - Mike
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jonathanb
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swing wrote:
I guess the second most asked question is linked to the general belief that Trafficmaster produce more accurate and more timely traffic information; so what plans do you have to keep your market leading position in terms of the quality of the data you provide?


I do agree that in the early days of ITIS there was a great deal of skepticism about whether our GPS based Floating Vehicle Data (FVD) system could ever provide the same quality of information as fixed sensors such as loops and cameras. This was largely based around doubts about the minimum sample sizes needed and the economics of reaching them.

Our experience has been sample sizes needed are much lower than the academic papers suggested. Second the advent of bulk tariff GPRS and "always on" polling have transformed the economics of vehicle communications since 2000 when we started work on FVD. The fleet management market has grown strongly as a result and with it the number of vehicles feeding our system. This has been the single biggest driver of our improved content quality.

In addition I suggest four further examples of our commitment to quality:

* Team. In January Thom Shelton joined us as Director of Operations and Six Sigma. Thom has a very strong professional background in statistics and quality at companies like Johnson and Johnson, GE and SPSS. An important part of Thom's job is to ensure that we prioritise quality improvement in the ares that matter most to customers;

* FVD enhancements. Over the next couple of months we are implementing important upgrades to FVD with new algorithms developed by our R&D team in Israel. These improvements focus on reducing the cycle time from detection to publishing;

* Sources of incident data. We continue to develop these through our exclusive relationship with Trafficlink. Also last week we launched a new Eyewitness feature on our short dial telephone services. This allows listeners to record their own observations which enriches our incident data to the benefit customers of all of our services, not just short dial. To see how powerful this can be take a look at the archive of recordings at www.keepmoving.co.uk ;

* Communication. We believe that we can do a much better job in explaining our service to customers and hearing their concerns and aspirations. That's one of the reasons that we have started this thread at pocketgpsworld. I have also started a new blog at www.trafficscience.com for those of you that wish to follow the technology and our thoughts on quality in greater depth.
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mostdom
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jonathan.

I have noticed on some occations where laybys attract more than one lorry you can recieve a traffic warning. I have now seen this at several different locations only to find free flowing traffic.
I don't know if these fleet systems need to be turned off during rest periods but will these changes reduce these false reports.

Also some of the PGPSW forum members feel that reception is in fact the biggest single problem with TMC on the whole, with many having to replace the standard ariel supplied with common GPS equpiment with more efficient ones. Will additional stations really solve this problem? or Can the source signal be boosted in any way?

Thanks
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jonandmarkuk
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I look forward to more regional stations brocasting iTIS as when the system works it's really handy but as soon as you loose ClassicFM it's useless.
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dannyw
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 2:28 pm    Post subject: Response to mikealder Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
Do you know what frequencies and tranmitters are being used for all iTIS transmissions within the UK

any plans for Century FM on 105.4 in the North West?


As mentioned we will provide details of the new stations as they come on line throughout the next few months, this will incude all the details you need.

Yes. Century is operated form Winterhill and owned by Guardian Media Group which is one of our broadcast partners.
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Danny Woolard
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dannyw
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smartroad wrote:
My local is 2TenFM, and the same parent comany as ClassicFM, yet doesn't transmit the TMC signal.

Is there any way of getting the signal on say BBC Radio1?


2TenFM does not transmit the ITIS TMC service and you are correct in that both Classic and 2TenFM are owned by GCap Media. However as I discussed in my post, part of the RDS sub-carrier of Classic is licensed to ITIS, this license is separate to Classic's own audio license.

There are a number reasons why the BBC does not carry TMC, primarily in view of the fact that we are operating a commercial service in the UK and the incompatibility with the BBC's charter as a public broadcaster. One point however is that whilst the coverage of BBC services is not exactly the same as Classic, the primary transmission network of Classic operates from many of the same sites, and in most cases at the same power levels using the same antenna array as BBC national services.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 2:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Response to mikealder Reply with quote

dannyw wrote:
mikealder wrote:
Do you know what frequencies and tranmitters are being used for all iTIS transmissions within the UK

any plans for Century FM on 105.4 in the North West?

Yes. Century is operated form Winterhill and owned by Guardian Media Group which is one of our broadcast partners.
Considering this was the only source of Traffic Master data in the North West region of the country until the station was sold late last year this will be welcome news to those of us that use iTIS - but does not bode well for those using Traffic Master in the North West Crying or Very sad - A nice move though as this (once switched on) will eliminate a major black spot in terms of signal coverage 8) - Mike
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GPS_fan
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously, this partnership of GMG and iTIS should inprove TMC reception in NW England with Century FM, but what about the rest of the country?

Well, other radio stations in the GMG network may resolve this, if included in the GMG/iTIS, shis should improve coverage nationwide:

http://www.gmgplc.co.uk/Ourbusinesses/GMGRadio/tabid/203/Default.aspx

Still a few gaps though, but better than nothing.

We'll just have to wait for word from iTIS to find out exactly what their plans are and which radio stations will be used.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't had the opportunity to test a car equipped with OEM Satnav and TMC but I wonder if our issues when using portable equipment are simply poor antenna design?

The counter argument to that possibility is that the same hardware operates with very much better results on the continent.
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